Chapter 213: Chapter 212: Crossroads Part III
“Hah! Would you look at that?” The rumors had come out of nowhere. They weren’t completely false, but regardless of whether they were true or not, the fact that the entire world knew about my involvement already wasn’t natural. It was obvious someone had done this on purpose.
“Are they that desperate? It hasn’t even been a whole day yet and already they’re selling my name.” I had expected them to do something like this, but I didn’t realize they would do it so early. It was like they were just raring to go at it.
I chuckled to myself. Either way, the NCR Guild was doing exactly as I had expected. “I suppose it’s time I got ready too,” I said while still lounging on my couch.
-‘I want more candy!’-
Early the next morning…
“I apologize for contacting you so early in the day, but we need you to come in soon, Mr. Lee. Pedro’s attacks are growing stronger by the day, and we won’t be able to last any longer.”
“I’m so sorry about this. I’m not sure if it’s a case of food poisoning or if I caught a bug but I really don’t feel good. I don’t think I can make it today.”
The next day…
“Are you feeling any better today, Mr. Lee? I could hardly believe that someone like you could succumb to a mere cold.”
“Oh, I’m very sorry. My cold has gotten better, but now my dog has run away and I can’t bear to leave without making sure he’s okay. I hope you understand.”
The next day…
“How are you doing today, Mr. Lee? I’m sure a powerful deva like you has already found a mere mutt by now. You must come today.”
“Yes, my dog and I are doing fine. But the equipment I had sent to be repaired yesterday hasn’t arrived yet. According to the blacksmith, I had really abused my armor and weapon and repairing them will take some time. I am quite picky about my equipment and prefer to use what I’ve always used.”
One week later…
“Lee Jiwon, that son of a bitch!” Jose roared as he slammed the table in front of him. The steel table couldn’t withstand the blow and crumpled to the floor. His subordinates sitting around the destroyed table remained silent.
“Grr! How dare he play me like this!?” For an entire week, Lee Jiwon had given half-hearted excuses and still had not come to Mexico. In the meantime, the guilds and organizations that had stopped contacting Pedro resumed their coercions. Pedro was also continuing his relentless assault against the NCR Guild, destroying more and more of it each day. The rumors the NCR Guild had spread about Lee Jiwon’s involvement were deemed false. As a result, three of the gathered officers – Medina, Jericho, and Cantana – couldn’t bear to raise their heads.
“Spread the rumors again! This time, say that Lee Jiwon has grown afraid of Pedro’s power and has run away with his tail between his legs!” Jose yelled in anger.
“We can’t, guild master. If Lee Jiwon catches wind that we are the source of those rumors, we risk making him our enemy, as well as Pedro.”
“Shut up and do as I say! Don’t you all get it? Pedro is getting stronger by the day!” This was a fact that the entire world knew. There was a limit to how fast a deva or deity could grow strong, but Pedro’s power was growing exponentially without any sign it was ever going to slow down. It had only been twenty days since Pedro appeared, and there were countless videos that had recorded how much stronger he was than the day before. It was plain to see, but no one knew why or how. All eyes were on Pedro and the NCR Guild, curious to see what Pedro’s limit was.
“I’d rather deal with Lee Jiwon than Pedro. At least we can still talk to that bastard. He might be giving us bullshit excuses right now, but he agreed to help us. Nothing will change that fact, so just spread the rumors!”
Jose Alejandro had attempted many times to contact Pedro without his own guild’s knowledge. He had decided that if he could get Pedro over to his side, he would abandon Cantana and make Pedro his heir instead. Familial ties mattered little to Jose in this undying world. But all Jose received in return were more waves of attacks.
“One more thing,” Jose said to Hugo.
“What is it, sir?”
“Contact the House of Windsor Guards in London. I already told them what they need to know.”
“Are you going to trust those hypocritical bastards?”
“Hmph. That’s exactly why I can trust them. They were trash like us from the start!”
Soon, Jose’s officers left the room, leaving Jose alone with his thoughts. “Ha… it’d be perfect if Lee Jiwon would just kill off Pedro…”
By now, Jose knew that Lee Jiwon wasn’t going to come to Mexico, even if the rumors that he was a coward spread. If he was going to come, he would have already done so. It was already too late to expect anything now.
“Hmm… have I just played right into Lee Jiwon’s hands?” The rumors he had spread were worth the payment promised to Lee Jiwon, even though he hadn’t paid him yet. But there was another rumor that had gone around.
==[Pedro is now Lee Jiwon’s sole target. The NCR Guild confirms this. Pedro is now off limits to any other guild or organization.]==
This rumor had spread around the same time as the first one and was actually instrumental in forcing all other guilds and organizations away from Pedro.
“But I didn’t expect that to happen as well.” Once those guilds and organizations pulled away, Jose was given another chance to approach the other guilds of Mexico and Central America, guilds that had also started out as drug cartels. When Jose had taken control of Mexico, he had done away with anyone who opposed him, leaving people behind who were as cruel as he was. They had all agreed to stand by Jose, in fear that if the NCR Guild fell to Pedro’s hands, they would be next. But once that second rumor spread, those guilds had cut all ties with Jose and the NCR Guild.
“No, it can’t be. It can’t be.” The NCR Guild was now weaker than it was when it reached out to Lee Jiwon. It had lost 30% of its power and territory, and was being pushed back further by Pedro each day.
“I’ll give you whatever you want if you would just kill Pedro for me!” Jose now only had the House of Windsor Guards to turn to.
“Jose Alejandro has accepted our proposal?”
“Yes sir, he has.”
“Good. Very good,” Queen Elizabeth laughed when she heard the report from Duke Glavis, head of the Windsor Guards. “It was already prophesied that Pedro will never join forces with anyone. If we can’t obtain Pedro, then we may as well take whatever we can from Jose Alejandro.”
“Yes, Your Majesty. Alejandro has promised he would do whatever we ask if we defeat Pedro for him. From this, it would seem that there was something wrong with the promise he made with Lee Jiwon.”
“That is quite beneficial for us. We finally have our chance, thanks to Lee Jiwon.”
“There is something we must be wary of,” a woman who was observing the conversation cut in.
“What do you mean by that, Ms. N?” While Duke Glavis served as Queen Elizabeth’s sword, N served as the queen’s most trusted advisor.
“We must be wary of Lee Jiwon himself. Lee Jiwon hasn’t reacted once to the rumors. He may as well just confirm that the rumors are true and that Pedro is his target alone. If we decide to face Pedro as well, we may as well outright challenge Lee Jiwon for that right.”
“Hmph! It’s because Lee Jiwon isn’t doing anything that we are being given the chance, is it not?”
“That is true, but if Lee Jiwon comes forth and says that he has already staked claim, then we must figure out how to react to that.”
“Would Lee Jiwon really interfere after we kill Pedro?”
“Who knows at this point? But it won’t hurt to be careful. I suggest we send our men under the guise as members of the NCR Guild rather than as Windsor Guards.”
“I see. If it seems that the NCR Guild has defeated Pedro on its own, then Lee Jiwon can’t do anything about it.”
“Exactly. Besides, the six hundred members that are ready to defeat Pedro are members of the Templar Order, are they not? And what we want is not fame, but Jose Alejandro’s treasures. It would be best if our men operate disguised.”
“Very well. What say you, Duke Glavis?”
“I think it’s a sound idea, as well. It’s a shame the world won’t know that the Windsor Guards will be responsible for Pedro’s death, but I believe it’s a small sacrifice for success.”
“Thank you, Duke Glavis. Let us prepare as we have planned.”
“Yes, Your Majesty!”
Soon, six hundred members of the secret Templar Order set out for Mexico.
“Really? He had to go as far as to call me a coward?” The new rumors spread faster than the first. I had to admit it did seem that way, and gave out a bitter laugh.
“It looks like the Puebla Defensive Line is gone now.” I kept tabs on the war in Mexico and learned that the line of defense the NCR Guild had set up in the nearby city of Puebla was broken by Pedro. Pedro was getting closer and closer to Mexico City.
“I am in full support of your act of revenge, which is why I made things easier for you, but this is all I can do. You’re going to disappear soon, but I’m going to still be here.” I knew what it was like to exact revenge, and wanted to let Pedro get as far as he could, but I couldn’t do what I did against Lee Kangchan and the Yung Gong Guild again. I had already attracted too much attention that day. Furthermore, I had no particular stake in Pedro’s war. I was maintaining many alliances right now, and I couldn’t continue to act just on my wishes, especially during an event as political as this one.
The next day…
More reports came in on the war in Mexico, only this time, the information was different. Pedro had lost a battle and had barely gotten away with his life. I had used my name to weaken the NCR Guild, but somehow, they had turned the tables on Pedro.
“Those are…” I noticed something as I watched the video of the latest battle against the NCR Guild and Pedro. The NCR Guild’s soldiers all had the same uniform and markings, but one group was still noticeably different. I knew who they were in an instant. They were from the Windsor Guards.
“Ha… so this was when they first showed themselves?”